Ludwig Gumplowicz


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A Polish sociologist, Social Darwinist, and materialist, who argued that social evolution represented a struggle for economic resources resulting in the survival of the fittest. Because of ethnocentrism, this struggle is characterized by conflict between (in an evolutionary sequence) racial groups, nation-states, and classes. He influenced the elitist theory of Gaetano Mosca. Little of his work has been translated into English (the notable exception being his Grundriss der Soziologie, 1885), and his writing is popularly discredited by its authoritarian and racist overtones, although theorists of global processes have recognized his contribution in drawing attention to large-scale social conflicts such as conquests and wars. See also military and militarism.

Subjects: Sociology.

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